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Microvision awarded additional $2.2 million from U.S. Army.

Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS) has announced that it has received a contract modification for an additional $2.2 million from the U.S. Army Aircrew Integrated Systems Product Office awarded through the U.S. Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD), located at Ft. Eustis, VA. Microvision will expand and accelerate its work on the Virtual Cockpit Optimization Program (VCOP) for use in attack and utility helicopters, preparing the revolutionary, pilot worn, full-color display for flight demonstrations in 2004. Microvision will build two helmet mounted displays based on the miniaturized and ruggedized subsystem it developed over the past two years.

VCOP is intended to function as a virtual cockpit that takes advantage of Microvision's advanced display technology to provide pilots with different information overlays depending on where the pilot is looking. As the pilot looks up and out of the cockpit, various full-color targeting, navigational or terrain overlays appear on his helmet display. When the pilot looks down into the cockpit, virtual instruments may appear, replacing many of the existing dials and displays found in cockpits today. Microvision believes that the virtual cockpit concept and its variations can be utilized not only in helicopters, but also in a variety of other military and commercial aircraft and even in ground vehicles.

"The result of the VCOP program is expected to provide both technical and cost advantages to the Army," noted Rob Sainsbury, General Manager of Government Programs for Microvision. "Aging helicopter instruments present a real problem. Legacy avionics can be cumbersome and hard to maintain, particularly as new capabilities become available. Maintaining or upgrading cockpit hardware requires re-engineering, replacement and re-wiring. This expensive procedure removes the aircraft from service for an extended period. A virtual cockpit with helmet mounted display however, is small, lightweight and can be readily upgraded by changing the software. We believe the flexible, cost effective VCOP system will help the Army deploy and maintain the most advanced helicopter cockpits available while offering substantial savings compared to the cost of upgrading all the instruments, software and supporting elements in an existing helicopter's avionics suite."

Sainsbury added "We are excited about our expanding role with the Army and appreciate the level of support we have received from Congress, particularly the Washington delegation. Their support of this technology will pay real dividends for our men and women in uniform."

Headquartered in Bothell, Wash., Microvision Inc. is the developer of patented micro miniature optical scanning technology for display and imaging applications. The company's technology has applications in a broad range of military, medical, industrial, professional and consumer information products.
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Comment:Microvision awarded additional $2.2 million from U.S.
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 14, 2003
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